Study Guide

Wuthering Heights

by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights Essay - Critical Essays

Sample Essay Outlines

Topic #1
Wuthering Heights can be viewed as the struggle between civilized, conventional human behavior and its wild, anarchistic side. Put simply, the novel contrasts the good and evil in human nature.

Outline
I. Thesis Statement: In Wuthering Heights, Brontë depicts the clash between good and evil in human nature.

II. Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights as representatives of good and evil
A. The Grange—gracious and comfortable; its residents, Edgar and Isabella are conventional, kind, and well-mannered.
B. The Heights—dark and foreboding; its residents Heath-cliff, Hindley, and Catherine are selfish and wild.

III. Characters as contrasts in human nature
A. Catherine and Edgar—she makes him miserable with her wild scenes and passionate attachment to Heathcliff, while she cannot thrive in his world of gentleness and order.
B. Isabella and Heathcliff—Her romantic innocence is destroyed by his calculated use of her in order to gain his revenge.

IV. Conclusion
A. Hareton—redeemed from the Earnshaw taint of savage brutishness by Cathy’s love, is restored to his position by Heathcliff’s death.
B. Cathy—retaining her father’s noble qualities, she submerges her mother’s impetuous nature as she matures.
C. The irreconcilable aspects of good and evil are resolved by the successful futures of the second generation family members.

Topic #2
Brontë is unusual as an author in her refusal to make value judgements about her characters. The reader is not entirely certain if...

(The entire section is 680 words.)